Compassion filled my heart as I read the article by Sheila Hagar in the Union-Bulletin regarding the termination of the food stamp stimulus program.
I am sad for people who are affected by this change — not because of the reduction in dollars allowed by the program to feed a family of four — but because so many people do not realize the value of their dollar when grocery shopping and preparing meals.
I noticed articles in the U-B a few months ago about trying to live on the food stamp allotment. I felt challenged to make a food list for myself.
My “grocery list” was quite generous and included several staple items thatcould carry over to another week. The outcome would have been even better by multiplying that list by two, three or four depending on the family size, because many items such as seasonings, flour, oil, etc., would become ingredients for many more meals.
Strange as it may seem, the best nutrition is not necessarily the most expensive. There are so many colorful delicious fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, etc. — “plant foods” — that if used wisely for the major part of the diet, could nutritiously feed a family of four at much less than the $632 per month allotment.
I strongly believe that wise planning, sanitary handling of foods and careful and imaginative use of leftovers can leave a family bountifully nourished and happily fed on this amount or less. I challenge someone to give it a try.